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Updating our RV’s look has been something that is inessential, but really still bothering me. Especially the ugly brown floral located on all of our window valances, dinette cushions, wallpaper borders, and couch.

Getting the itch to redecorate a little, I decided to take on the window valances. It was surprisingly easy and here is how I did it:

 

Before:

After:

I made the decision to make my own curtains. RV windows are weird sizes and plus, pre-made curtains are expensive! I even had access to a sewing machine at work. What’s to lose? So, I measured our windows and then doubled the width to make sure the curtains had plenty of extra to cover the whole window when closed. I also added 6″ to the height of each. Going back, I would have added at least 12″.  Once I knew my dimensions, I could figure out how many yards of fabric would be needed to cover all five of our windows (not counting the bathroom which is frosted glass.) I also figured out the yards needed for blackout fabric for the three bedroom windows. Being on a budget, I priced it all out first.

  • 7 yards of patterned fabric from JoAnn’s at $10/yard and 20% off total order coupon =$56
  • 3 yards of blackout fabric from JoAnn’s at $20/yard and 20% off my total order coupon = $48
  • One spool of white thread = $3
  • One 18′ spool of Grosgrain ribbon = $4
  • Everbilt 2″ Black Corner Steel Brace (4 pk. with screws) x3 = $9.60
  • Ikea Racka Curtain Rods (3 Small, 2 Large) = $29
  • Ikea Raffig Finials (5 pairs) = $10
  • Ikea Betydlig Curtain Rod Holders (x11) = $5.50

Not counting the tools we already owned, the Grand Total was $165 with fabric being the most expensive (especially the blackout fabric, which I am now very grateful for.)

Not being a sewing expert, but still believing in myself, I called my mother and did some googling. I sewed a quarter inch hem on each piece of fabric, lining the bedroom window curtains with the blackout fabric first. Then, I created a 2″ hem on the top of each curtain creating a place for the curtains to sit on the rod. After trying this method, I decided that I did not like it. The 2″ hem was too tight for the rods and the fabric too stiff, so it was difficult for the curtains to sit open (They would just slowly work their way back to closed!) To mitigate the issue, I decided to add tabs to the back of my curtains. Since they were already sewn, I had to hand stitch the tabs on. To make my life easier, I used Grosgrain re-inforced ribbon instead of creating tabs from the fabric itself. This worked like a charm. I was then able to leave two tabs behind the curtain rod holders to keep the sides of the window from letting lots of light in and the curtain moved smoothly and stayed where it was put.

Once the curtains were completed, it was time to hang them! After several trips back and forth between Ikea, Home Depot, and our RV we created a good system. It was fairly simple to remove the window valances. It only took a phillips head screwdriver and a headlamp to see where I was going with it. There were side draperies velcro-ed into the top and the bottoms were screwed into the wall. They were very straight-forward to remove. The roll blinds were even attached in the valance, so it was really only removing a couple of screws going through the top of each one. Once the valance was removed, a silver corner bracket was left on the wall. I simply replaced the silved bracket with the same size black bracket (to match our curtain rods). This worked great, because when we tried using traditional curtain rod brackets, the curtain stuck several inches out into the space, which does not help when living in limited space already! The corner brackets allowed us to keep our curtains close to the wall and close to the inset windows.

Since Ikea had these handy little curtain rod holders that screwed into any piece of metal, I just attached them to the pre-drilled corner brackets and tightened the bolt. Next I placed the curtain rod with the curtains on into the holder. And lastly, I attached the finials through a screw-in method.

It was all surprisingly easy. It has helped freshen up the place and I have really enjoyed more sunlight getting in. It also feels more spacious without the window boxes. Moreover, it enabled me to put plastic over the windows to help with cold and humidity during this winter season in the Pacific Northwest. (The window boxes were hindering my ability to do so before.) What a world of difference in such a small change! Death to the ugly brown florals!